First-time Buyers

HMRC: residential property sales up 32% on last year

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The number of UK home sales rose by 3.5% between January and February, which is 31.7% higher than the same time last year.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs confirmed 108,940 residential and 9,120 non-residential transactions occurred in the UK in February.

Transactions peaked in November 2013 and have fallen since, in line with the seasonal lull over Christmas and new year.The trend has shown general month-on-month increases in transactions since the beginning of financial year 2013-14.

Property transactions remain low against historic levels with 315,720 in Q4 2013, against 459,350 in Q4 2006. 

Meanwhile, 29% of all sales are being made to first-time buyers, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), as the number of homes for sale falls to a decade-low, despite improving sales figures per branch.

Help to Buy sales accounted for an average of 4% of sales in each estate agency outlet.

The 31 to 40 year old age bracket bought more homes than any other in February with the average sale in the UK taking 11 weeks from sale agreed to completion.

Jan Hÿtch, president of National Association of Estate Agents, said: “As confidence in the housing market continues to rise, NAEA agents expect the number of first time buyers to remain strong.

“With Help to Buy making it easier for new purchasers with low deposits to buy a home, the appetite for buying in this price range, combined with the diminishing supply of first time buyer properties, could drive property prices up further in this sector.”